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“Kia Ora” : Welcome to Christchurch
The Garden City

The staff would like to welcome you to Christchurch Language Centre. We look forward to your arrival and making your stay enjoyable and successful.
To help you prepare for your trip we have compiled the following information, which we believe will help you adapt more quickly to a new country, climate, college, customs and lifestyles.
Charming Christchurch
Located on beautiful Banks Peninsula, with a population of 380 000, Christchurch is New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’, and the largest city in the South Island.  Fabulous parks and gardens are only one part of Christchurch’s many charms. It is often called the ‘most English city outside of England” because of its many historic buildings and the picturesque Avon River winding its way through the heart of the city. In Christchurch you can enjoy the theatre, restaurants and cafes, sporting events and many outdoor activities. There are also a variety of exciting places to visit around Christchurch. You can try bungy jumping, horse riding, skiing, snowboarding or jet boating all within easy reach.
Christchurch city’s central district is a vibrant hub, where friendly people and a “Kiwi” attitude mix with beautiful gardens, open spaces and elegant old stone buildings.
Language Difficulties
Most of you may experience some difficulty speaking English. This is natural. You will be using conversational English, which is probably different to what you were taught in high school. It will take some time to become proficient in your speech. When you talk with your host family, teachers or friends, ask them to speak clearly, slow down or repeat themselves. These people are excellent sources of new words and phrases. Ask them to help with your pronunciation and vocabulary. They will be happy to help. If you become tired and frustrated when you do not learn as quickly as you would like, relax and slow down. Be patient. It takes time.
Asking for Help…
If there is something you don’t understand, or something you are not sure how to deal with, ask someone for help or advice. If you do not ask, we cannot help you.

  • I don’t understand. Can you explain this to me?”
  • Can you help me please?”
  • I am sad/confused/homesick. Can I talk with you about it?”
  • I would like some help with homework/English, new friends”

Christchurch has very changeable weather and has been said to have ‘four seasons in one day’. The climate ranges from warm to hot summers to cold crisp winters. It very rarely snows in the city, but skiing is very popular in the mountains, only one hour drive away.
December to March is warm to hot (max 18-30 degrees C)
April to November is cool to cold and often windy (max 5-18 degrees C)
What to Bring


  • Light comfortable clothing for the warmer months (T-shirts, shorts, sandals etc)
  • Wind proof jacket, pullover, jeans, jacket and strong shoes or boots for the colder months, although remember we can have four seasons in one day, so it is advisable to bring some warmer clothing even in summer.       
  • Raincoat and umbrella.
  • All types of clothing can be purchased in Christchurch.

All Asian products and most European products are readily available in Christchurch and you do not need to bring these with you. As New Zealand has been an isolated country for many years and is relatively free from pests and harmful insects there are very strict quarantine laws controlling the importation of foods and plants.
Do not bring any plant or animal materials into the country (e.g. mushrooms, fruit, Chinese herbs, pork, noodles, spices etc).  However, if you must bring any of these, please remember the following classes of goods MUST be declared on your New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card:

  • Food of any kind
  • Plants or parts of plants (alive or dead)
  • Animals (alive or dead) or their products
  • Equipment used with animals
  • Equipment such as camping gear, golf clubs and used bicycles
  • Biological specimens

Passengers who fill out the Quarantine section of the declaration card incorrectly, risk an instant fine of $200. This is in addition to the prospect of a fine of up to $100,000, or a prison term of up to five years for serious breaches of New Zealand Bio-Security laws.
Please see the New Zealand Customs Service website for more details:
Students travelling on a Student Visa
Students travelling on a student visa need to comply with certain conditions:

  1. Students must have an attendance level of 80%
  2. Students must notify CLC of any change of address
  3. Students must meet course requirements
  4. Students must not work unless you have applied for permission to work and hold a work permit and work visa

Please note that student visas are for all students who are enrolled for 12 weeks full time or more.

  • Students must attend 20 hours minimum study per week to maintain their student visa status
  • Students who are in New Zealand on a tourist visa need to speak to staff at CLC in regard to their eligibility.

Step 1
The Registrar, upon receiving the student’s registration form from the agent or individual student shall issue an initial Letter of Acceptance / Offer of Place stating the student’s name, date of birth, period of study and course type.  An invoice will also be sent at this time, along with the Pre-Departure Handbook.
Upon full payment of the course fees the Registrar will issue a receipt of payment and final Letter of Acceptance / Offer of Place stating the student’s name, period of study, course type and that all fees have been paid.
Step 3
Overseas students
The receipt of payment and final Letter of Acceptance / Offer of Place and are first faxed to the respective New Zealand Embassy in that country (if requested).  They are then faxed and posted to Agent or individual.  Agents or the individual students will then apply for the student visa.
Step 4
New Zealand based student
The receipt of payment and final Letter of Acceptance / Offer of Place are issued to the local agent or the individual.  Agents of the individual students will then apply of the student visa.  Students already studying at CLC who wish to apply for a student visa can get a student visa application from the Registrars office.  Staff are available to help students with any enquires they may have.
You could also visit the New Zealand Immigration Department website for more information.

New Zealand Immigration Service - Christchurch Branch
Carter House
81 Lichfield Street
P.O. Box 2211
Phone:  365 2520
Fax:      365 2530

Code of Practice
Christchurch Language Centre has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students published by they Ministry of Education.  Copies of the code are available on request from this institution of from the Ministry of Education website at:
Health and Travel Insurance
Most students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand, unless they are:

  • A resident or citizen of Australia
  • A national of the United Kingdom in New Zealand; or the holder of a temporary permit that is valid for two years or more.

If you do not belong to one of these special categories and you receive medical treatment during your visit, you will be liable for the full costs of that treatment.  We strongly recommend that you have insurance that will cover the cost of medical treatment in New Zealand for the duration of your stay here.  We also strongly recommend that you obtain insurance to cover your travel to and from New Zealand.
Medical treatment in New Zealand can be very expensive.  Students are advised to carry health insurance to cover against medical and hospital expenses.  Christchurch Language Centre can organise insurance for you.  If you need health insurance please contact CLC and you will be sent an application form for you to complete and return to CLC.
If you are staying in New Zealand for more that twelve weeks you should open a bank account.  Most savings accounts come with a plastic “cash card” which you can use to access automatic teller machines (ATMs) 24 hours a day to withdraw and deposit money. All the major banks are located close to CLC and we will assist you during orientation with opening a bank account if you need one.
Postal Mail
Please ensure that any mail that is sent to you by post has your name written clearly in English script, with the word student on it.

Example:          John Smith- Student
                       Christchurch Language Centre
Your Arrival in New Zealand
If you have reserved an airport pick up, your host family or a CLC staff member will meet you at the airport.  Look for your name (in English). If you cannot find a representative, please wait at the Information Centre at the International Arrivals hall and our staff will come and find you.
Your First Day at Christchurch Language Centre - Orientation
On the Monday that your course begins you will attend an orientation morning.  On this morning, you will complete an English test to assess your level of English and follow an orientation programme for new students.
What to Bring:

  • Passport
  • Letter of Acceptance / Offer of Place from Christchurch Language Centre
  • A pen and paper


9:00am         Introduction to CLC staff members
9:10am       English Placement Test and Interview
10:30am Morning Break
11:00am Orientation Pack and information
11:30am Walk around Christchurch city (City Orientation) shown around the school
premises / facilities
12:15pm Lunch break
1:00pm Students return for class allocation
1:15pm Afternoon class starts (for full-time students)

In our orientation programme we will explain how to use the public transport system, you will find out more about visa regulations, about homestay and other accommodation issues, timetable details, holidays, school policies and facilities, recreational activities and more.
Regular Class Times
Regular school days are structured as follows:

  • School opens at 8:30 am
  • Morning Class 9:00am- 12:15pm (Morning break 10:45-11:00am)
  • Lunch 12:15 am -1:15pm
  • Afternoon Class (Monday-Thursday) 1:15pm- 3:15pm (with a 5 minute break)
  • There are no afternoon classes on Friday.
  • The School closes at 5:00 pm

In addition to regular classes you may also be involved in a number of excursions and activities outside the classroom.  These are optional and are not included in your tuition fees (i.e. they are an additional expense).
Teaching Methods
Our teachers are dedicated to helping every student learn English as quickly and effectively as possible.  The emphasis is on communication, and a wide range of resources and the most up-to-date and appropriate methods are used to ensure that every learner achieves their potential.
Teachers at CLC use a blend of proven approaches and challenging new ideas, and take into account a wide range of learning styles and cultural backgrounds.  You may find that the teaching style is different to what you are used to, but you will soon find that you are able to communicate with others in the class and become independent outside the class. Please remember to tell the teachers about any individual difficulties; they will always be happy to help you.
Living in a homestay is an ideal way of quickly becoming familiar with a new culture and environment and there is greater progress in English skills.  All homestay hosts of Christchurch Language Centre speak English as their first language in their homes and are otherwise very diverse in their ethnic origin, religion, age and family situation.
In a CLC homestay, you will be provided with a furnished single room, breakfast and dinner on weekdays and three meals on the weekend (if you are at home).  We will do our best to find a homestay situation which matches your interests and preferences, however it is rare to find a ‘perfect match’.
While you cannot think of yourself as a guest in a hotel, you must also realise that you are not at home with your own family.  Expect things to be done very differently.  Meals chores and responsibilities will be different. Family structures also vary because of the many cultures that exist in New Zealand.  Every family has a different way of doing things, different values and different expectations of family members.  Learning to fit into a family will help you to understand New Zealand cultures and values.
If you become unhappy in your homestay situation, please speak to our Homestay Manager.  If, after discussing the situation, you would still like to move out, you must give two weeks notice to CLC and your host family.
Non-Homestay Accommodation
If you are planning to live independently, (i.e. not in a homestay), you can find shared accommodation from $80-$130 per week or rent a one-bedroom un-furnished flat from $100-$200. You should budget approximately $15 for electricity and gas, $60 for food, $15 for public transport and $10 for the telephone.
Student Services
CLC staff can assist with finding suitable accommodation and can help you with a wide range of issues including employment, legal and financial problems, academic counselling, visa issues, recreation etc.  Furthermore, a Student Counsellor is available to discuss, in strict confidence, any difficulties and personal problems (homesickness, health issues etc) that you may have from time to time.
If you have a complaint, which our staff have been unable to satisfy, you may wish to write to another organisation.  Our school is a member of FIELSNZ - The Federation of Independent English Language Schools of New Zealand. You may write to:

The Secretary
PO Box 2577

If FIELS is unable to help you, please contact

New Zealand Qualifications Authority
PO Box 160

Or you can contact the International Appeal Authority (IEAA)
What is the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA)?
The IEAA is an independent body established to deal with complaints from international students about pastoral care aspects of advice and services received from their educational provider or the provider’s agents.  The IEAA enforces standards in the code of practice.
How can I contact the IEAA?
You can write to the IEAA at:

The International Education Appeal Authority
C/- the Ministry of Education
PO Box 1666

In the case of an emergency only you may ring the following number after you arrive in New Zealand:

0800 106 108

All the staff of the Christchurch Language Centre wish you a safe journey and look forward to welcoming you to Christchurch!



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